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Meetings & Upcoming Events

We meet one Sunday a month from 2 PM to 5 PM alternating between our Nassau and Suffolk meeting locations. 

What can you expect when you attend a PFLAG Meeting?

PFLAG is all about Support, Education, and Advocacy.  For people attending their first meeting, it is all about Support. 

You will meet parents or family members of loved ones who have recently "come out" to them as well as others who have been members for many years and have gone through much of what you are just beginning to experience. 

For some parents, this news is very difficult to deal with.  Most of us have never had anyone tell us they have a gay child and many just do not know what to do with this information.  While some people find this news quite distressing; they may be angry or hurt, others are readily accepting, but all have questions.  There is a lot to learn and PFLAG is the place to ask questions in a safe environment.  All that takes place during our meetings is treated as confidential.

PFLAG is where we share our experiences in small groups and support each other as we go through the process of learning, accepting and celebrating our families.  We represent many social, political, and religious backgrounds but are neither a religious nor a political group. 

We meet to engage in discussion in informal, confidential rap groups led by trained facilitators where we support and encourage one another as we seek to keep families in loving relationships after learning that a family member is gay.

Our meetings are not group therapy, seminars, or workshops.  No one is called upon or expected to speak until they are comfortable doing so.  We know that listening is often all a new participant can do and when they are ready to talk, they are given all the time and attention they need.  We do not probe or question ones feelings as we know that all feelings are valid.  People share as much or as little as they are comfortable with, often opening up as time goes on. 

PFLAG is the place to come where you know you will receive a positive reaction when you say “My son is gay” or “My daughter is a lesbian”, or “I am gay”.  For many, PFLAG is the place where those words are first uttered in public and here they are greeted with a smile. 

Newcomers are often greeted with such warmth and support that they are able to articulate for the first time all the disturbing thoughts and fears they have been harboring since their loved ones came out to them.  They benefit from the experience of members who are further along in the process of learning, understanding, and accepting as they learn facts they belie stereotypes and the negativity put forth by the mean-spirited seeking to marginalize our children.  They receive reassurance (that our children are happy and healthy living wonderful lives with their life partners), information, and guidance as to how to deal with others who may be less enlightened.  Newcomers hear the ease with which members say “I have a gay child” and then learn that not too long ago they, too, were newcomers with the same emotions and fears that have been overcome.

We meet to discuss the political and social environment that affects our LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, and Transgender) loved ones and learn how we can work to advocate for their equal civil rights.  We enjoy the camaraderie of other families with gay members and of our gay PFLAG members while we socialize, laugh, smile, share family photos, enjoy refreshments, and become educated by guest speakers. 

We have a free lending library from which members are encouraged to borrow books and videos to help in the education process.  Borders, Barnes and Noble as well as your public library are great sources for literature

 

2012

Saturday June 9th  LI Pride Parade in Huntington.  We had a great turnout of PFLAG members and supporters marching with us in this important event that ended with Pridefest in Hecksher Park.

WE WERE BUSY in 2011:

June 12th, Twenty PFLAG members marched together today in the Huntington LI Gay Pride Parade in perfect weather.  While we may not always have a chance to see some of these friends at our monthly meetings due to other obligations, it is always a joy to see them whenever their schedules permit.  The people lining the street were enthusiastic as always and we ended with the festivities in the park which never looked cleaner or fresher.  The clumps of day lilies were abloom along with the hostas.  The geese enjoyed the ponds and strolling along the paths. HRC and other Marriage Equality groups were out in full force obtaining signatures and postcards urging our legislators to pass this long-overdue civil rights protection. 

It was brought home to us more than once today that as a group we need to learn and DO more to further Gender Equality legislation. 

May 16th, Marsha and Dan attended an address by Governor Andrew Cuomo at his All Access People First Tour at Hofstra University.

He spoke about many issues including marriage equality.  He expressed his strong support for the passage of the marriage equality bill and stated that this is one of his goals for the present legislative session.  He equated the lack of this bill to the fact that before 1968 it was illegal for interracial couples to marry in many states.  He feels that marriage equality is a basic fairness in civil rights and said that it is time for New York to move forward and have marriage equality.  It is his hope that the marriage equality bill will have enough support to pass during this session which ends the 20th of June. Cuomo insists that our representatives should be voting the way the people in their districts want them to vote and stressed that we call our Senators to let them know how strongly we feel that they must vote for Marriage Equality   He stressed that we are responsible for letting our representatives know our wishes – that they vote for Marriage Equality "or don't come home."

April 27th, Iris visited Senator Marcellino’s office to discuss Marriage Equality.  His position remains rigidly against it and he cites his upbringing as the reason for this.  We made strong arguments for reconsideration and hope that he will do just that.

March 31st Iris spoke to @35 members of the Commack GSA – one of the schools that received our donation of a dozen gay-themed books back in 2004.  Terrific group – great questions and very supporting sponsors.  They will be ordering their own rainbow wristbands from Rainbow Delegation and appreciated the material left with them.  They were interested in the history of the gay rights movement,  the formation of PFLAG, possibly bringing parents to our meetings and we discussed coming out issues as it relates to acceptance by parents . 

February 16th Iris spoke to 16 members of the Syosset GSA - a great, active, positive group with a terrific sponsor.  One member and mom attended our Christmas party 2 years ago, another attended the book donation event at Borders as had the sponsor with several Syosset GSA members at that time. They loved our rainbow wristbands and will order more. They were interested in the talk and material left for their use and the seniors were especially interested in PFLAG's scholarship program.

February 8th Joan went to Albany on Jan. 22 and again on Feb 8th with MENY to speak to her senator, Carl Marcellino.  She didn't get to speak to him but one of his staff members.  It was a wonderful experience and really she plans on going again on May 10th for Equality and Justice Day with NYS Pride Agenda. 

WE WERE BUSY in 2010

October 26th.  Iris spoke to @ 50 students and faculty as part of their diversity/history program hosted by the school's GSA, moderated by Professor Suzanne Johnson.

July28th. Todd and Mike spoke to 8 graduate students taking a course on collaboration and consultation in special education at the Riverhead campus of CW Post.

The professor, Dr. Kathleen Feeley, a strong advocate for the GLBT community, became one when a student wrote in a journal that homosexuality isn't discussed and how homosexuality in students could be a problem that many teachers face. 

 

Mike read PFLAG’s mission statement and, from a parent’s perspective, described how having a GLBT child coming out affects the parents.  Todd spoke from the standpoint of a gay educator about coming out and stated some statistics (1:3 teen age suicides is gay related).  A wide variety of GLBT topics, some serious and some humorous, were discussed.  The presentation was well received. 

 

July 20th. Dan, Marsha, and Iris spoke to a group of @50 retired professionals in Great Neck.  We discussed PFLAG, the issues we and our children face, and the laws needed to be enacted to ensure equal protection for our children and grandchildren.  They were very receptive and had great questions.  We demonstrated how there are more similarities than differences in the lives and issues faced by our gay children and that the differences would mostly be eradicated by the passage of equal protection legislation.  To show their appreciation, they presented us with a generous donation to our PFLAG chapter.

 

June 27th Once again, as we have for over 20 years, PFLAG LI marched in the NYC Gay Pride Parade. Here is the write-up of the day provided by our Treasurer, Bob:

It's a wonderful event to come together and celebrate! Yes, the weather was a bit humid (ok.. very humid), but I'll take that any year over rain.  Plan on joining us next year on June 26, 2011.  We began marching around 12:25pm and were DONE by 2:10pm...it was great.  We were near the front, got to finish early, then we could enjoy the city, or walk back a bit and watch the rest of the parade, etc....so please coming next year!!!!  It's not 5 hours of walking..it's under 2 hours...and it's at a slow pace.  A BIG thank you to: Joe (my hubby), Dean and Jonathan, JoAn, Jason, Norman (Jason's Dad), and Ann, the volunteer marshal for our group without whom we would not have been able to march again this year, and her two friends, Maria and Dani. It is ALWAYS so emotional going through the Village---the entire route is great, but when we get down to the Village, and the crowds get to be 5 to 10 people deep on both sides of the street, and they see PFLAG Long Island, the cheers always turn deafening...it's a great experience.  Check our facebook page PFLAGLONGISLAND to see an album of photos.

June 23rd Iris spoke to a class of 25 current and future librarians at CW Post Palmer School about PFLAG and our Book Donation project (we donated a collection of 12 LGBT themed books to 25 GSAs on Long Island a few years ago).  The librarians were receptive to her suggestion that libraries celebrate June as Gay Pride Month with a display of books for all age groups - children, young adults, and adults.

June 16th  JoAn attended the second annual Northport VAMC EEO LGBT Pride Month Program.

June 13th We marched in the Long Island Pride Parade and had an table in the park after the parade to distribute information about PFLAG and answer questions about our group.  We had a free raffle drawing for a rainbow colored afghan JoAn crocheted and donated.  The winner, Paul, was recently legally married in Connecticut to Tom.  

May 19th, Marsha, Dan and Iris spoke to a group of parents at Pride for Youth.  We were pleased to see that they refer parents to PFLAG and to learn that they provide free on-site family counseling. 

WE WERE BUSY in 2009:

June 14th we marched in the 19th annual Gay Pride Parade in Huntington.  For a few pictures from the parade,  you are invited to view Long Island Pride 

On June 17th, we presented a table of material at the first ever EEO LGBT Employees Group in the Northport Veterans Administration Hospital

We were 13 strong in the NYC Heritage of Pride Parade proudly marching behind our new banner.

This is an experience you just never forget and, it never gets old.  Long-time marchers get the same goose-bumps from the crowd’s reaction to us as first timers. 

 

 

Upcoming Events

 

See below for address and directions for upcoming meetings.

 

 

The most important part of each meeting is the support group portion of the meeting when we meet in small groups led by trained facilitators and can ask questions, voice concerns, and share experiences.  Each meeting also provides opportunity for socializing, listening to a speaker, and enjoying refreshments.

 

Our programs and speakers for future meetings will be announced

We hope you will join us.

Directions (click on the link for directions)

 

Calendar of  Meetings

 

Month

Nassau

Sid Jacobson JCC

300 Forest Dr, East Hills NY 11548

516-484-1545

Suffolk

Suffolk Y JCC

74 Hauppauge

Rd,

Commack NY 11725

631-462-9800

 

Sunday - Sept 14 2014  Sid Jacobsen JCC

Sunday –Oct. 19,2014   Suffolk Y Commack

Sunday –Nov 16, 2014 Sid Jacobsen JCC

Sunday –Dec 14, 2014 Suffolk Y Commack

Sunday- Jan.11, 2015  Sid Jacobsen JCC

Sunday- Feb. 8, 2015   Suffolk Y Commack

Sunday –Mar.15,2015  Sid Jacobsen JCC

Sunday –Apr.12,2015   Suffolk Y Commack

Sunday –May 17,2015  Sid Jacobsen JCC

 

In June we do not meet.  We march in both the Long Island Pride Parade in Huntington and the New York City Heritage of Pride.  Amazing and affirming experiences always!  Both of these parades are very exciting and the high point of the year for all of us.

 

We will make specific announcements about July and August meetings.

 

You can always reach out to us through our helpline (516 938 8913) or contact us at info@pflagli.org at anytime.

 

Other Related Meetings and/or Events

Board Meeting:  Date to be announced

 

Directions     (CTRL + click for directions)

 

 

Previous Programs at our meetings:

 

May 2013 Meeting:

 

Our speaker was Flo Marshak, LCSW, author of “Grandma Punch is ... a woman, a mother a grandma, a professional and a lesbian”

 

Flo Marshak is a social worker in private practice, and has been in the counseling profession for over 25 years.  Flo has studied Kaballah along her journey to healing, and her grandchildren see her as being “spiritual”.  She lives on Long Island with Judy, her partner of 24 years.  The book she presented is her first creative endeavor.

 

 

October 14, 2012 Meeting:

 

Our speaker was Karen Taylor, Director of Jewish Outreach for Long Island Gay and Lesbian Youth. She works with Jewish institutions to create safe and welcoming space for GLBT youth.  Her program, The Aleph Project, connects GLBT Jewish youth ages 13-21 with Jewish life and experience, while working in partnership with synagogues and Jewish community centers to create positive, inclusive, and affirming activities for GLBT Jewish youth. The Aleph Project also offers programs and activities for young adults in their 20's and 30's.

 

Karen told us about Long Island’s first ever “National Coming Out Day/Jewish Social Action Month Campaign,” a project funded by UJA-Federation of New York’s Jewish Social Action Month. This one-day campaign engages an entire community to take a stand against GLBT bullying and harassment. 

 

October 16, 2011 Meeting:

Elisa Waters from LGBTeach presenting an informal "state of the schools" address- talking about positive measures that are happening, legislation pertinent to making schools safer for LGBT youth, and other resources to help parents and students. 

 

December 12, 2010 meeting:

Cathy Marino Thomas from  Marriage Equality NY updated us about the general state of marriage equality around the country and in NYS in particular, discussing the past election and how that affects us as well as some of the more "high level" specific rights that couples can only get with a marriage license; why civil unions don't work. There was ample time for questions and for letting Cathy know what was on our minds.

 

September 19, 2010 meeting:

Pat Ellis discussed The Human Rights Campaign, a leading national organization advocating for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality in all areas from federal and state legislation to workplaces and schools .  HRC has active local steering committees in communities around the country, including here in Greater New York - Long Island, where they are involved in advocating for marriage equality and helping elect fair-minded legislators.  Patty Ellis serves on the Board of Governors of HRC and is co-chair of the Greater New York Political Committee.

 

November 14, 2010 meeting:

Michael LaSala, a gay professor, social worker and researcher discussed his new book  “Coming Out, Coming Home: Helping Families adjust to a Gay or Lesbian Child” based on his interviews of 65 gay youth and their families

 

October 17, 2010 meeting:

Anthony Brown and his partner, Gary talked about "Gary and Tony Have a Baby"  aired as a CNN documentary earlier this summer.  Gary and Tony have a fascinating story about how and why they decided to use a surrogate to have a baby and discussed the issues, challenges, and legalities involved in doing so. 

 

 May 15, 2010 meeting:

Alex Martinez brought his team from New Yorkers United for Marriage Equality and HRC.  Alex told his moving story of being denied access to his extremely ill partner of several decades when George was hospitalized.  It was only because George’s family was supportive of their relationship that Alex was allowed (through them) to participate in decisions concerning George’s treatment and recovery.  We signed more cards addressed to our NYS Senators urging them to vote for Marriage Equality in this legislative session

 

March 13, 2010 meeting:

Sheralyn Bello from Dowling College presented her work on creating safe schools.

 

February 6, 2010 meeting:

Our speaker from the Crime Victims Center (a non-profit NYS organization) presented a program on Hate Crime Prevention

 

January 9, 2010 meeting:

Long Island author Dr. Jackie Humans "15 Ways to Zap A Bully!" discussed the particular type of bullying that some of our children have faced and was interested in refining her talk for groups such as ours.  We helped her with our input since this is a relatively new focus for her.  In light of the rash of suicides we saw this fall, it is important to educate children and their families on how to handle negative comments and harassment. 

 

 

 

 

Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians And Gays - Long Island
P.O.Box 692, Jericho, N.Y.11753

 

info@pflagli.org

 

• Confidential Help Line (516) 938-8913